LA MIRADA >> The Del Rio League boys pole vault record is safe for now. But Cal High junior Jorge Zapian has his sights set clearly on the mark of 14 feet, 7 inches.
Zapian won the event at Thursday’s league finals at La Mirada High with an effort of 13-6, out-dueling El Rancho’s Luis Alonzo, who cleared 13-0. Zapian then had three chances to match the league record, but came up just short each time.
“I was so close I could almost taste it,” Zapian said. “My feet were over (the bar), I just didn’t hold onto the pole long enough.”
And he won’t be satisfied with just getting to 14-7, which is three inches over his personal record.
“After today, I can’t stop craving 15 feet.”
Cal coach Mark Gomez also feels a 15-foot vault is well within Zapian’s capabilities, and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 1 finals could be just the start.
“He’s definitely been flirting with 15 feet in practice,” Gomez said. “We have loftier goals that just getting in (to the CIF preliminaries). He definitely has a shot at the finals.”
La Serna junior Michelle Reed did manage a league record Thursday and was a three-time winner. Her time of 58.06 seconds in the 400 meters was nearly a second faster than the previous mark of 59.00, and almost two seconds better than second-place finisher Verenice Gomez of Whittier. Reed also won the 800 (2:23.70) and she anchored the Lancers’ 4×100 relay to victory in 50.98.
A pair of Santa Fe athletes won twice Thursday, senior Julissa Tobias in the 1,600 and 3,200 and senior Anthony Jones in the 100 and 200. Tobias won the 1,600 in 5:14.59 and the 3,200 in 11:17.24. In the 1,600, she stayed with the pack for the first half of the race before putting down the hammer and running away from the competition.
“I made my move in the last 800,” she said. “My strategy is always to maintain a pace and never slow down.”
Jones achieved his goal of a 100-200 sweep, but his 100 time of 11.32 was a little slower than his 11.0 goal.
“I had a bad start,” he said, “but I can (get under 11.00). I stumbled at the beginning.”
Cal senior Chris Rodriguez had one individual victory (110 hurdles), although he was disappointed with his time of 16.39, and he ran on the Condors’ victorious 4×100 relay (44.41). In the triple jump, Rodriguez was second (43-8) to El Rancho’s Erick Macias (44-2).
The boys 3,200 had a 1-2 finish by Cal senior Matlazomatli Rojas (9:42.93) and junior Samuel Bautista (9:43.03). The pair got out to a sizable lead over the first mile running together and were never really challenged, although El Rancho’s Sal Salas came on strong to finish third (9:44.51).
“(Bautista and I) traded off the leading and were working together,” Rojas said. “Our goals was to pick it up over the last mile, but I guess (Salas) did too.”
La Serna sophomore Piper Lowinger defended the 100 hurdles title she won as a freshman, finishing in 16.78.
“It was a little bit slower than I expected,” Lowinger said, “but I’m still happy and I’m proud of my performance.”
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